You never know how God will use you if you just take a step of faith for Him…. Here’s a testimony a lady sent Roxie and I. It is raw and unedited. Seems to pain the picture better.
hey holland and roxie!
i emailed a friend a couple days ago to update her on some of the awesome ways we are seeing personal prayers answered in our lives these days, and it dawned on me that YOU GUYS should be the ones to hear about it, since much of this news actually began with you, that night on san clemente pier. sometimes we just go on serving others for the lord and often times don’t get to see or hear about the results in someone’s life, and when i do hear that someone was truly touched by the lord, it really encourages me and warms my soul with such gratitude… i’m sure it’s the same for you guys… so, i wanted to share our recent news around here with you and hope it encourages you as you continue to minister to, and pray for those people god puts in your path. you would have NO IDEA how grateful i am that the lord steered you to the pier that night without hearing what the lord has been doing in our son’s life since we met you on the pier. so i copied & pasted part of my email to a friend, the part you need to know about, so you can be blessed by it too! here’s the copy:
so god just keeps hooking us up with the coolest people these days. scott & i were out lobstering one night and this couple came up to us to give us some info on a new church they’d just planted in san clemente. they asked if there was anything we wanted prayer for, and i told them about joel, and they told us about their own son, who is also in jail. seemingly perfect strangers just sharing this great sadness for our wayward, beautiful boys, so lost and desperate for the lord’s touch, and right there on the pier we prayed for each other’s kids. it turned out that the pastor was actually someone very special from our old church… (he was the music director)… so we went to their new church the next day, and he actually mentioned to the congregation that they had a couple of divine appointments the night before on san clemente pier, and i just smiled, because it was sooooo true for us too, as i had been praying for god to put his people in our path!
the pastor emailed afterwards, and i wrote back asking him to pray about a ministry i wanted to start to support the orange county rescue mission, and we all met for coffee, and he & his wife were all supportive, and somehow in that meeting with them just confirmed god’s calling to get this thing going for the mission. i put an ad in craigslist a couple days before that, and it just took off from there.
then i contacted a church in westminster and asked them if they ever visit people in jail… (it’s a real upbeat place for young people, though we’ve never been to it). anyway, the next week, joel told me someone from that church came to see him, and as he talked to the pastor, he was really honest about himself and his backsliding with god. before the guy left, he asked if joel wanted some study notes. joel told me he really didn’t care about the study notes one way or the other, but took them just to be polite because the guy had been so nice to come up and see him. then a “street” type bible came to the jail that i had ordered him, and he started reading it. at that point, he remembered the pastor’s notes, and got them out and actually studied what he was reading, and said it all came back to him, this passion for the truth, and said that now he has this “overwhelming desire to absorb as much as he can from the bible”. those were his exact words! so then, he and five other guys formed their own bible study in jail, and meet everyday now. next, he got a new bunk-mate who just happens to go to the church the pastor was from, and knows all these pro-skaters that gabe knows of, who film and do artwork, people who gabe keeps up with for their “skate-fame” and all. the bunk-mate is a nazarene and totally sold out to god, and if you think about it, shouldn’t even be IN there, but gets bunked in with joel. joel says he’s hilarious AND a believer, and just can’t believe god put them together like that when the kid has no drug issues or prior legal problems. (he’s in huge trouble for a mural he painted on a wall, haha!)
it is typical for the different races to fight in the jail he’s in, but joel gets along with everyone, and their bible study group is made up of one mexican, a black guy, an asian, a jewish guy and joel. he says in their bible study group, there is NO COLOR… no notice of race or color… just “orange” for the clothes they wear. they pray for each other, for god’s will, not their own, before each other’s court dates, etc. then the pastor who visits him wrote me and said that joel is obviously of superior intelligence and has a solid foundation in christ, so he put him in charge of editing his sermon notes (from jail! haha), and some publications he’s been working on. so now joel is getting even more out of the word through this ingenious pastor’s idea to have him work on it with him! (surely the pastor re-proofs his work after joel, but how cool is that?!!) and this all came from god directing our old music pastor and his wife over to us on a pier one night, and praying for each other’s sons. the timing was only something god can do… you know those moments, huh…
and you know we’ve been looking for another boat… well, the lord may have clearly just told us not to buy one. the boat trip came from us asking some random guy at a gas station about his 26-foot inflatible, and he whips out these pictures of his dolphin runs, and i notice a verse from ephesians written at the bottom of one of his pictures, and say “oh, you’re a christian… ephesians, blah blah blah.” he turns out to be a member of capo calvary right down the street, with a boat ministry of sorts, and right there at the gas station invites us out on the water on new years day, and has given us a standing invitation to go boating whenever he’s down at the harbor. he’s a photographer in laguna so we all shared a lot in common. scott was in hog-heaven out on the water again, and i just love the way we can see god leading the daily affairs of our lives again… even putting christian men in scott’s path that seem to be leading to some discipling for him. this guy is perfect for scott, who could really use a christian mentor. (END OF COPY)
so how’s that for a happy new year for us?? hahah, isn’t this awesome stuff?? praise god!
anyway, blessings & happy new year to you both. we hope to see you again soon!